Captain Pete Viney, the Royal Navy's director of Recruitment and Attraction and MPCT CEO Huw Lewis sign the Memorandum of Understanding on the deck of HMS Victory

A leading UK military training college has strengthened its links with the Royal Navy,  in a move set to benefit students and the senior service alike. 

MPCT (@MPCT_HQ) - which runs 29 Military Preparation Colleges across England and Wales – has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Navy, making it the only such college in the UK to have secured the formal support of all three branches of the British Armed Forces.

And the aim is to not only increase opportunities for MPCT learners hoping to serve in the Royal Navy or as Royal Marines, but also to ensure high-quality candidates for the naval service.

MPCT’s Military Preparation Colleges use military and progressive education techniques to help young people aged between 16 and 19 across the UK achieve their potential.

Along with training in physical fitness, the courses - whose instructors are all ex-British Armed Forces personnel – help learners achieve qualifications in English and mathematics and become proficient at problem solving, public speaking, leadership and communication.

The Cardiff-based organisation has helped more than 20,000 school leavers gain the practical and academic skills they need for civilian or military careers, since it was founded in 1999.

And three of its current cohort of learners attended the signing which took place on board Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, at the Royal Navy Dockyard at Portsmouth.          

Seventeen-year-old Bradley Jeffery, Heidi Lihou, 19 and 18-year-old Finley Ryan are students at MPCT Portsmouth and, following the signing, they were given a personal tour of the 104-gun ship.                                                                            

Best known for its role at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 it is the world's oldest naval ship still in commission, with 243 years' service.

“The tour took us to places aboard the ship that the public does not get to see often,” said Bradley, “giving us a deeper insight into the life these sailors had and the conditions they endured for months to years at a time.

“The whole experience was astounding right from the start. Meeting and speaking with naval personnel about my application, being a part of the signing and witnessing history for the company was amazing.”

MPCT CEO and founder Huw Lewis MBE said signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Navy was “a pivotal moment” for the organisation.

“We are delighted to have formalised and strengthened our ties with the senior service,” he said, “and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

To find out more about the Military Preparation Colleges, prospective learners and parents and guardians can visit www.mpct.co.uk or call 0330 111 3939.

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